Best Defense

Ballistic missile defense and coastal artillery: Basically similar endeavors?

I’d be interested in reading a study comparing the two — 19th century coastal artillery and 21st century ballistic missile defense. They strike me as similar — both intended to use technology and money to fend off the foreigners, and perhaps with a slight isolationist tinge in their backing, because they promise to allow us ...

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

I’d be interested in reading a study comparing the two — 19th century coastal artillery and 21st century ballistic missile defense. They strike me as similar — both intended to use technology and money to fend off the foreigners, and perhaps with a slight isolationist tinge in their backing, because they promise to allow us to dispense with expeditionary land, sea and air forces. Yet both are of doubtful military efficacy. Does anyone know of such a work?

Also, did coastal artillery ever really do anything, aside from having a possible deterrent effect that can neither be proven nor disproven?

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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